Perforated eardrum with constant ringing, is this normal?

Posted , 9 users are following.

I fell onto a toy 3 weeks ago and perforated my eardrum. It started to bleed so I went to the ER and was given neomycin/Polymyxin B otic suspension drops. I used them one time (3 drops) and then read they shouldn't be used with a perforation so I stopped. A day later my ears started ringing, this also coincided with the day the blood dried.

Is it normal to have high-pitched ringing from a perforation or from a scab/dried blood on the eardrum? Or should I be worried that the eardrops have caused damage to my inner ear? I saw an ENT who said not to worry about the drops but it is so hard not to after the terrifying things I've read. He confirmed dried blood on my eardrum. Hearing test was good.

If ringing is from the perforation or the scab, how long should it take to improve? Ringing is no matter after 3 weeks.

Also, since my ear was bleeding when I used the drops, is there risk of toxicity from the neomycin entering my bloodstream?

Thanks!

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  • Posted

    I think if the ent doctor said it is nothing to worry about that he is right. I recently had a really bad infection called myringitis. The ear drum didn't perforate, which it sometimes does, but it bled quite profusely. I had similar tinnitus and dullness of hearing with a feeling like my ear needed to pop. I was worried my hearing wouldn't return. It has taken more than three weeks but it is coming gradually back now. It was a similar high pitched tinny sound. Sometimes everything sounded tinny and weird....screechy. Hearing test showed no nerve damage. They can tell from hearing test.

    I have recently gone on a 4 hour flight and was worried because of the state of my ear and hearing. It has actually helped it. I didn't expect that but it has seemed to clear the ear. Myringitis involves something growng on the ear drum. It bursts and bleeds out. What you are describing sounds so similar to me although there was no perforation in my case. I think your ear will heal. If you are still wortied why not ask to see them again. Explain your fears. I feel it is just a matter of time and healing. It is much slower to recover than you might imagine. I have since spoken to others who have had similar experiences. Someone else told me it took her ear 'a few months' to get back to normal.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding! I'm so glad to hear your ear is getting better. I'm sorry you had to deal with that infection, that must have been very painful!

      You're right, I need to trust the ENT. I've always been a worrier and have read horrible things about permanent damage, including loud permanent tinnitus from those drugs getting into the inner ear through a perforation. Though it CAN happen doesn't mean it will happen or that it's common.. It's just so hard not to associate the ringing with the drops since it didn't start until after I used them.

      It's a relief to hear that it can take a few months to recover! Thank you for letting me know. It's been worrying me that the ringing is the same after 3 weeks.

      I hope you feel 100% very soon! Thank you!

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  • Posted

    Hello Stephanie, Im sry to hear about your ear. I too had a hole poked in my left ear drum years ago from a branch of a tree when I was doing yardwork. That ringing you hear is actually (and I know how this sounds) inside your head, or brain actually. When you get a injury like that it damages a certain frequecy or tone that you would normally hear but that ringing you hear is your bodies way of "turning up the volume" in order to compensate for that loss. Ever turn up speakers to full blast with no sound going through them? you hear a audible hum which is the equivalent of the sound your hearing. As you heal it should definitely improve. There is a test besides the classic beep beep hearing test that hearing specialists can do where they put a plug attached to a testing machine in your ear and it will test your ear drum/hearing and give a printout of the actual hearing threshholds you have.. mine showed a sharp dip on the actual tone that was effected for me. If you want to ask me any questions or just want to talk about it, ill check back later.

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    • Posted

      Yes! That's exactly how it sounds! Was yours loud enough to hear over other noises? Did the ringing start immediately or did it develop over a day or longer after your perforated your eardrum? How long did it take to get better?

      I really appreciate your response!!

      Thank you!

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    • Posted

      Hi there again :0) Yes mine was loud enough to hear over other noises at the time, but it has since receded. It began soon after getting poked, at least within the few days. The actual tone effected that the machine measured I cant remember but I could still hear everything fine and pass a regular hearing test. With that being said..Because the brain is increasing the base volume in order to compensate for any hearing loss, and as odd as it sounds, my hearing on that ear is actually way more sensitive then the unaffected ear and in a certain way can hear almost better as strange as that sounds, also you might find that a loud noise on that side can make you jump easier because of that. Yes you are going to get better with time, I did too, but also in a way that maybe you didnt expect. Your first instinct will be to "listen" to the tone itself, but dont... listen to something else like a fan or a distant TV. You will overtime stop hearing the noise because you will train your mind to simply stop searching for it, and just as people stop smelling something after they've been around it long enough so too will you not hear the tinnitus. Because your ear will be in higher-sensitve state I actually had them make me specialized ear buds like musicians wear, pretty small and invisable actually, and they only block the damaging sounds but I can still totally hear fine with them in. I liked to use them if I decided to go to a club or other place I knew the sound was gonna be too super blasting high. Too be honest I love these ear buds and I would have them for those occasions even if I hadent have ever had tinnitus when I think back on the night partying and getting muffled hearing. I truly hope your doing ok and I'll check back again

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your response! It is SO nice to talk to someone who has been through a very similar experience. I was so scared that passing a hearing test but having ringing meant something was terribly wrong.

      Did your ear bleed when the stick got you? Were you given medication or drops for it?

      Did your tinnitus go away or did you just get used to it over time? After how many weeks/months would you say you stopped noticing it? When was your eardrum fully healed?

      I've been considering ear buds as well. I'm not sure how sensitive my hearing is but I notice I've been tensing up when I hewr loud sounds because I'm worried it will hurt, the buds sound like a good idea! Did you get the earbuds from your doctor?

      Seriously, I appreciate you talking with me so very much! I wish I could give you a hug! Sorry for all the questions!! <3

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    • Posted

      Im glad I can be here to help :0) ask as many as you want cause I know how scary it can be, not knowing whats happening. My ear did bleed a little but not gushing or too bad. Yes they gave me drops as well and I actually went through the same mental process as you thinking they could have given me tinnitus, but knowing what I know now.. no I dont think it was the drops. The eardrum itself wont take long to heal over, but I suppose it depends on the type of trauma you recieved and the width of the hole/tear. Is it that it goes away or is it that you simply dont hear it anymore? thats the question I think. But to answer you honestly, yes it went away. Is my ear slightly more sensitive then before, yeah and am I cautious with loud noise scenarios, oh yeah.. but Its not there like it was before. I cant remember when exactly I stopped hearing it 2-4 months possibly..but I do remember the moment I realized It COULD go away. One day I was sitting at home and then I suddenly heard it and I thought to myself hey I wasnt hearing it huh It was like I remembered oh yeah I have tinnitus but up until that second I had forgotten and didnt hear it. Every day after that it got a little better and a little better. Yeah the hearing doc basically made a mold of my ears/canal and you choose the strength you want it too be depending on the job you do or what you need it for. Then they send it out to the company who makes it basically and it gets mailed back. I love them actually they are flesh colored and sit pretty well inside your ear most people never even knew I was wearing them when I did, I had to tell them. Im honestly glad to help and please ask as many questions as you like, I work with people with developmental disabilites and autism so I have infinite patients hehe
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    • Posted

      You're so nice!

      Do you remember what kind of drops you used? Were they the neomycin (Cortisporin) drops?

      I was thinking the way you described the noise was similar to what I'm hearing but maybe not. Was yours very high-pitched? I feel like I have the static hissing type of sound in the background but also a high-pitched ringing type sound. Also, I feel like I hear mine in both ears! Not just the injured ear. It's hard to lay down on my side because the ringing is louder when my ear is covered. Was it difficult for you to sleep?

      Thank you again!!!

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    • Posted

      I believe the drops were some kind of ciprofloxacin if I remember correctly. Yes mine was the high pitched whistle type sound.. They did a study before and asked healthy people to sit inside a sound proof chamber (like when you do hearing tests) and tell them what they heard.. most people in a silent state still claim to hear some type of background noise even in the absence of any external sound.. in other words we never actually hear "nothing". I understand exactly what you mean about laying down to sleep..when theres nothing to listen to its hard to NOT listen to the sound. Something that can help is having some type of white noise that you can "listen too" instead of your body trying to hear the sound, I used a fan basically so that way my ears could focus on the whir of the fan instead of the sound

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    • Posted

      Oh yeah, those are the safe drops! I wish I wouldn't have been given the neomycin ones, even if they aren't causing damage, just so I wasn't going through all of this worry about them.

      I sleep with the TV on or with a fan going but I can still hear the ringing over them. I have to go I really hard on the external noises. Then once I fall asleep I wake up scared. I'm already a very anxious person though.

      Thank you so much for answering my questions! I'm sure I'll have more as I continue to go through the healing process, hopefully you won't mind checking in with me. You've been such a big help and comfort for me! I really appreciate it!

      I have a follow up with my ENT soon and will be sure to update.

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    • Posted

      Oh, wait! I do have another question for now. Did you develop a scab on your eardrum? If so, did it fall off on its own?
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    • Posted

      Ill be here :0) and Im very glad I can help you.. I can rememeber the feeling to, waking with a shock, feeling like the world just crashed into you suddenly. I know your apprehensive about the ototoxicity of the drops and I would suggest raising that issue with the doc so they can check if the drops should be discontinued, unfortunately I cant conclude one way or another for you but my opinion still stands that I dont think they were the cause of mine. Yes there was a small scab (at least the doc that looked in my ear said there was) didnt ever really know when it feel off or what happend to it. Im happy our chat can provide you at least some comfort during this time; I sense your a positive person. I truly believe that this is something that will get better with time.
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    • Posted

      I only used the drops one time (3 drops), got nervous and then stopped. The ENT I saw after my ER visit said I didn't need drops anyway unless I developed an infection, which I haven't. He said that though it is theoretically possible for the drops to cause damage, it is rare especially after only one dose. But being a health anxious person, I googled all the most terrifying things and have been in a panic for nearly a month now. I can't even tell you how comforting it is to know your experience, to know that this type of ringing can result from a perforation and not just from ototoxic meds. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me about all of this. I wish there were some way I could repay you! Thank you so much!!

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    • Posted

      Hi again!

      I also meant to ask you.. before the ringing started to get better, did it seem worse than usual sometimes? Like did you have days when it seemed louder than before? And days when it went back to its "base" level? Did the tone ever change at all? Or was it completely consistent in tone/volume until it started to go away?

      Thank you!

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    • Posted

      I Noticed the music and high pitch more when a room was quiet. If there was some other noise going on I could ignore the tinnitus. I still get the tinnitus just not as loud or persistent.
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    • Posted

      I feel I can ignore my ringing most when I'm out of the house but if I'm home or in an office or something, it's harder to cover. Some days I feel like it's even louder than normal and I get so scared! Today it seems louder than it was, but I feel like this has happened a few times and then it goes back down a bit, but never actually goes away.

      How long do you without tinnitus now? A whole day or more?

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    • Posted

      I don't know, I think it's pretty much everyday but I can switch off more now. Right now it's a quiet room and my tinnitus sounds like a washing washing on spin and a high pitch alarm. I'd not noticed it until I concentrated on it to answer you

      The one I hate is when I stand up, the tinnitus is so loud I cant hear people talk !

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    • Posted

      It doesn't take long to settle but at work I cant hear anyone when I stand up from sitting.... these eardrums bursting have left me with some hearing loss . I see ent again on Monday and they'll decide whether to leave everything as it is or think of something else to try

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    • Posted

      Hi Caliblueyes, this is not on this subject and I hope Stephanie doesn't mind but I wondered if you could give me a bit of advice. I suffer from hyperacusis and autophony and was with a group of about 10 at a coffee afternoon in a cafe yesterday.  We sang together for many years and I don't want to stop going to these monthly get togethers as I am pretty isolated and lonely at the best of times but even though I sat as far as possible from the noisiest part of the cafe, I did not enjoy the afternoon and I came away totally drained. Could you tell me about the 'buds' you mentioned.  Do you think they would help me in this situation? I have foam ear plugs but with them in I can't hear people talking. When you say your hearing doc did the mold etc., what kind of doc was this? ENT? (I am in Australia.) Thank you.

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